by Yolanda Ndhlovu, Ecopreneur and founder of lifestyle brand, Essy Sandisiwe
I am a basketball fan. Yes, I am that woman! I watch the NBA religiously. I love the Golden State Warriors and was so happy when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship and even streamed their Victory Parade in their home town. I am a fan, period!
This got me thinking. In our businesses, are our employees our biggest fans? Do they root for our companies and have the same passion for the company vision like we do? Are they motivated? Do they know their role in the company or do they go through the motions during the month and wait for pay day?
David Bleath states that 66% of employees claim that they don’t know how their job descriptions align with the company values. We often hire the best candidate, show them to their desk and expect them to work magic. We only converse with them when they do something wrong. If you are guilty of this approach in your own business, here are a few tips to make your employees feel included:
- Your employees need continuous training on your brand manifesto. Where it was, where it is, and where it headed, according to their positions and job descriptions. This shows them why they are there and what they are a part of.
- Let them live the brand. As an entrepreneur, you need to make sure that the client that buys your service and product is constantly aware of who you are, what you do and what you stand for. Your employees need it too. What is the message that you are passing down to your employees? Make sure there are reminders of what your company is and what its values are all over the office.
- Make it a team effort. If you make some decision-making their task, you are encouraging and building confidence in them. Peter Drucker created a term called ‘Sideways communication’ where it highlights the importance of the output of people who are not in line of authority. You are not handing over your company rather bringing together a team of people with diverse skills to push the company and its brand forward by allowing them to make decisions.
- Make sure they maintain their passion. Great feedback never hurt anyone. It boosts confidence.
Yolanda Ndhlovu is an eco-entrepreneur and the founder of lifestyle brand Essy Sandisiwe, an accessories brand that creates a wide range of beautiful upcycled products from waste materials, including handbags, purses and scarves. She is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Follow Yolanda on Facebook or Twitter.